The Annex

Relaxed Downtown neighbourhood with unique architecture.


Welcome to The Annex

Relaxed Downtown neighbourhood with unique architecture.

The Annex is a peaceful, comfortable, and relaxed neighbourhood in Downtown Toronto. The neighbourhood borders the University of Toronto and has a vibrant collegiate atmosphere. The Annex’s hip independent restaurants and businesses give it a bohemian flavour. Streets here are lined with towering mature trees and tall Victorian and Edwardian homes built between the 1880s and early 1900s. A few of these original properties were replaced with mid-rise apartment buildings in the mid-20 th century. The grandest historic properties were built in a unique style blending elements of Richardsonian Romanesque and Queen Anne Revival architecture. The style is so particular to this neighbourhood that many refer to as The Annex style. More than 500 buildings in the neighbourhood have since been granted protected status by the Toronto Historical Board, guaranteeing The Annex’s historic character is preserved for decades to come.

What to Love

  • Unique historic architecture
  • Bohemian vibe
  • Diverse shopping and dining
  • Historic homes and museums

People & Lifestyle

The Annex’s atmosphere is an enchanting mix of academia and bohemia and has many independent businesses. At night, The Annex’s trendy bars and restaurants make it one of the most popular places to hang out in Toronto. During the day, you can explore the campus at the University of Toronto or head to some of the biggest and best museums in Canada.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

The Annex is a vibrant neighbourhood with a wide variety of restaurants, shops, and nightlife spots mostly concentrated along Bloor Street. Sotto Sotto is an upscale Italian trattoria with an extensive menu of delicious authentic dishes. Celebrity chef Massimo Capra’s Mistura is another fine choice for Italian dining. Capra brings adds diverse global influences to his sublime reinterpretations of Italian classics. Meals at Mistura can be enjoyed alongside a great selection of wines and cocktails. The large patio at Future Bistro is the best place to dine when the sun shines. Future Bistro opens from early until late with hearty breakfast plates in the morning, a selection of great sandwiches, salads, and soups for lunch, and gastropub comfort eats in the evening. There are also special daily deals such as Pasta Tuesdays and all-you-can-eat pierogies each Wednesday. The Salt & Pepper Catering Co. is a lunchtime favourite, with a takeout menu of gourmet sandwiches, salads, sweet treats, and cupcakes. Snakes & Lattes is a laidback place to while away an afternoon with a coffee and a huge selection of board games.

​​​​​​​This collegiate neighbourhood is home to several exciting nightlife venues. Madison Avenue Pub spans three converted mansions with six separate British-style pubs offering a wide selection of beer in a sprawling and lively space. Lee’s Palace is one of the best places in Toronto to catch live rock music. Lee’s served as a bank, shoe shop, and movie theatre in the early 20 th century and finally became a music venue in the 1980s. Lee’s has seen performances from Canadian legends such as The Tragically Hip along with the first Canadian performances of iconic international acts such as Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Smashing Pumpkins, Oasis, Blur, and Arctic Monkeys. Lee’s Palace also contains popular late-night club The Dance Cave.

Things to Do

The Annex is renowned for its striking historic architecture. The breathtaking Gothic Revival- style mansion Casa Loma was built in the 1910s for wealthy financier Sir Henry Pellatt. Casa Loma features many stunning rooms that can be taken in during a guided tour. It’s also surrounded by five acres of beautiful gardens. This local landmark will be recognizable to many through its use as a filming location in movies such as X-Men and Harry Potter.
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The nearby Spadina Historic House & Gardens features unique exhibitions exploring Toronto’s past. Bata Shoe Museum is another unique local attraction with one of the world’s most extensive collections of footwear. Bata’s galleries span 4,500 years of footwear history, with artifacts ranging from Ancient Egyptian sandals and Chinese bound-foot shoes to glamorous contemporary designer items. The Royal Ontario Museum, often called simply The ROM, is one of the largest museums in North America. The museum explores many subjects, with 40 galleries containing more than six million items. The University of Toronto’s St. George Campus is the centrepiece of Canada’s oldest public university. The Annex is a centre of major transit lines, with easy public transportation to all other areas of Toronto.

Schools

Public schools are operated by the Toronto District School Board. Highlights include:

  • University of Toronto, Public Research University